Alannah Monks’ Abode Stylist studio (theabodestylist.com) was founded on the idea that interior design need not be a formal or exclusive service, that every home deserves to reach its full potential on any budget. The Abode Stylist creates eclectic and well-designed spaces, merging new trends with existing living spaces, always keeping the integrity of the home to the fore. Here, she tells us how to style our homes for summer…
Summer is the perfect time to rejuvenate your home. Allow the sunlight streaming through your windows inspire you to bring new life and purpose to your spaces. With subtle tweaks and a few accessories, you can style your home for what promises to be a long summer largely spent in situ.
Flowers & Foliage
There’s no better way to immediately update your home for summer than to decorate your spaces with in-season flora and foliage. Peonies are in bloom from late spring and burst with glorious colour through the high summer months; they make the ideal coffee table centrepiece in a low, round vase. Similarly, French and Dutch lavender that bloom in June and July will add little pops of colour in vases lining a windowsill to give your home the feeling of a French château. For a more bohemian summer effect, add succulents in hanging pots to corners and window recesses, mix styles and lengths for that perfect carefree combination. For a more tropical aesthetic, opt for plants that bloom in warmer climates such as large palms and the classic fiddle-leaf fig.
Image credit: SONAS Bathrooms
Let the Light In
Enhance the long and brighter days in your home by allowing light to flood through your space. Wherever possible banish heavy window dressings; choose instead light and airy finishes such as voile and linen to allow the summer light to bounce through your home. Try to add reflective textures and finishes subtly to your home to create more light. Brushed metallic accessories will reflect light without pulling focus. Metallic hardware paired with summery shades in cabinetry is the perfect way to play with available light; think ocean shades in bathrooms, and bright, classic neutrals for living spaces. Add large mirrors where you can and avoid fussy frames – instead create the impression of a second window with a minimalist look.
Image credit: DFS
Store heavy textiles like velvet for winter, trading them for natural weaves and boho textures. Floor cushions are the perfect addition to any summer living space. Jute offers a hardy finish while staying cohesive with the summertime aesthetic, while Morocco-inspired weaves and sheared textures are a softer way to achieve the look. Take these principles into your cushions and throws; think grown-up tassels, crinkled linen, and texture over pattern. Contrast these pieces with simple cotton weaves in your seating and use these as an opportunity for flourishes of colour. For tables and joinery, a limewash finish on oak will instantly brighten your space and for occasional pieces look at trendy bamboo and cane to elevate your summer settings.
Freshen Up Your Colour Scheme
Dark room schemes took winter trends by storm, but now it’s time to lighten up our homes with fresh shades, warm neutrals and citrus bursts. Play with colour this season by leaning into the trend for minty shades of green in your furnishings or, if you’re brave enough, in your walls and joinery. Alternatively bring a Mediterranean pop of colour to your home with terracotta shades paired with warm neutrals. But when in doubt, a warm white will always offer the perfect blank canvas to accessorise with summer colours.
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